Physical Science

“The phenomena of nature, especially those that fall under the inspection of the astronomer, are to be viewed, not only with the usual attention to facts as they occur, but with the eye of reason and experience.” -William Herschel We typically think of Saturn as our Solar System’s ringed world, thanks to its huge, glorious…

Space Robots On The Angry Red Planet

There is little that is cooler than robots on mars doing science. Human space agencies have been sending probes to the surface of various planets (and the Moon) for years now, with the full range of failure and success. But the last decade or so has seen space robots such as Mars Curiosity Rover sciencing…

“I left Earth three times and found no other place to go. Please take care of Spaceship Earth.” -Wally Schirra We’ve made it through another amazing week here at Starts With A Bang, and what many of you might not realize is that there was a fabulous new release thanks to the support of everyone on…

“Yes, now there is this technological path. But it’s just starting.” -Mae Jemison Earlier this month, Yuri Milner and Stephen Hawking teamed up to announce the Breakthrough Starshot, a $100 million investment in technology that would build a laser array to propel a thin, light “laser sail” spacecraft to approximately 20% the speed of light.…

“We are not learning to view ourselves as an advanced, evolving civilization. That is what we really must learn to do, in due course, if we were to survive. All of that will take place, in due course, and we will be able to explore solar system. We will be able to go beyond it,…

“Space is certainly something more complicated than the average person would probably realize. Space is not just an empty background in which things happen.” -Alan Guth If you go back in time, earlier and earlier, things get hotter, denser and more energetic. But there’s a limit to how far back you can go, and that…

“You cannot rob me of free nature’s grace, You cannot shut the windows of the sky Through which Aurora shows her brightening face.” -James Thomson The northern (aurora borealis) and southern (aurora australis) lights are caused by a combination of three phenomena on our world, that make our aurorae unique among all worlds in our…

“That’s the next step: to simultaneously see [gravitational waves] with three, four or five interferometers, localize it quickly, within minutes, and have other observatories catch it instantly, and catch it in the optical or the X-ray bands. That’s going to provide a whole new understanding in these cataclysmic events.” -Dave Reitze, executive director of LIGO…

It’s been a while since I last rounded up physics posts from Forbes, so there’s a good bunch of stuff on this list: — How Do Physicists Know What Electrons Are Doing Inside Matter?: An explanation of Angle-Resolved Photo-Electron Spectroscopy (ARPES), one of the major experimental techniques in condensed matter. I’m trying to figure out…

“This is the plan. Get your ass to Mars, and go to the Hilton Hotel and flash the fake Brubaker I.D. at the front desk, that’s all there is to it. Just do as I tell you.” –Total Recall Every two years, Earth passes Mars in orbit, as the inner, faster world overtakes the outer…